The National Engagement Programme is a central part of the British Foreign Policy Group’s mission, as it seeks to build a truly national understanding of, and engagement with, the UK’s foreign policy. The Programme includes an innovative series of events in towns and cities across the UK, in which local and regional stakeholders discuss and debate foreign policy issues, and provide a local perspective on the UK’s international engagement. From these, we can draw insights into the differing local needs, priorities and assets around the UK’s foreign engagement, while strengthening knowledge exchange and partnerships between stakeholders.
This Programme ensures that all regions, cities, and towns have a voice in the development of our international priorities, and in turn, that the UK’s foreign policy reflects the full depth and breadth of its assets and expertise. Through regional engagement of local business, civil society, government, and cultural institutions, we identify previously overlooked networks, centres of expertise, and soft power assets, to produce innovative and optimised foreign policy.
The BFPG also aspires to encourage institutional understanding of foreign policy among local communities, while collecting valuable insights about the diverse viewpoints, assets, and expertise held in its regions. To this end, the National Engagement Programme creates opportunities for constructive interaction between traditional foreign policy decision-makers – often based in Westminster – and emerging centres of influence across the UK.